Martin Johnson

Martin’s Contributions


March 2006    Albums

Remixes 2002-2005

Coming on the heels of its Blue Note Trip mix album, the first few tracks of Jazzanova's Remixes 2002-2005 give you the distinct impression that the Berlin-based crew is little more than a hardcore bunch of '70s fetishists. The jazz-funk groove, which informed...


January/February 2006    Albums

Gangbe Brass Band

Joyous, powerful and above all playful, the Gangbe Brass Band from Benin covers a lot of territory on Whendo. "Gangbe" means "the sound of metal"; appropriately, this 10-piece outfit includes trumpets, saxophones, trombones, euphoniums, sousaphones and several...


January/February 2006    Albums

The Ripple Effect

Play the Ripple Effect's Hybrids for some friends of different musical persuasions and without telling them who it is and you'll probably be surprised by the guesses. Fans of IDM, aka Intelligent Dance Music (i.e., stuff that draws on 20th-century classical...


January/February 2006    Albums

Blue Mongol
Roswell Rudd

The 70-year-old trombonist Roswell Rudd has had as varied a late career as any jazz musician in recent memory. In the past few years, he's recorded tributes to his mentor, the great Herbie Nichols, reunited with longtime allies Steve Lacy and Sheila Jordan...


January/February 2006    DVDs

Solo Inventions
Charlie Hunter

Since arriving in New York nine years ago, Charlie Hunter has recorded in nearly every variety of small-group setting, but he rarely operates alone, as he does on Solo Inventions, a new DVD from Paul McNulty and Daniel K. Berman as part of their Solos series...


December 2005    Albums

Anoushka Shankar

Anoushka Shankar, daughter of sitar legend Ravi Shankar, takes serene and confident steps away from her father's long shadow on Rise. It's the fourth CD for the 24-year-old sitarist, but it marks a striking departure from the Indian classical music presented...


October 2005    Albums

Misconceptions of a Delusion, Shades of a Charade Celebrating the 35th Annivesary of the Chicago 7 Trial
Ernest Dawkins' Chicago 12

Lush orchestration, pithy, even angry solos and fiercely declaimed poetry highlight Ernest Dawkins' new recording. Reedist Dawkins is a veteran member of Chicago's Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, and here he addresses the Chicago 7...


October 2005    Albums

Have You Heard
Javon Jackson

The soul-jazz record has a long history, and on his second Palmetto disc, tenor saxophonist Javon Jackson provides a randomly ordered survey of the style. As was true of his 2003 effort, Easy Does It, Jackson is joined by organist Dr. Lonnie Smith and guitarist...


October 2005    Albums

Black Awareness
Khan Jamal Quintet

Lean, loose-limbed and deceptively powerful, the Khan Jamal Quintet recalls the sound of New York City in the early '80s, particularly in those clubs like Soundscape, Jazz Forum and the Tin Palace that were remnants of the New York City loft-jazz scene...


July/August 2005    Albums

Hope, Future, and Destiny
Nicole Mitchell and the Black Earth Ensemble

2005 is the 40th anniversary of Chicago's Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, and one of the most recent highlights of their output comes from vice chairperson and flutist Nicole Mitchell. Her third recording, Hope Future and Destiny...


July/August 2005    Albums

Virgin Ubiquity
Roy Ayers

For most of the early '70s, Roy Ayers' Ubiquity made state-of-the-art jazz-funk. The cool, mellow grooves were in stark contrast to the more aggressive fusions of Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock and they were less diffuse than Weather Report's. In 1976, vibraphonist...


December 2004    News

Joe Sample: Solo Crusade

Some of the key players in Joe Sample's new release, Soul Shadows (Verve), are construction workers. The veteran keyboardist built a house in Houston last year, and one of the aims was to create a separate piano room. The house was finished in January, and...


December 2004    Hearsay

Rebecca Martin

I can't really peg a story for most of my songs," says vocalist/guitarist Rebecca Martin about her new recording, People Behave Like Ballads (MaxJazz). "They're really more about a sentiment or a feeling," Martin's recording is an collection of urbane and...


December 2004    Hearsay

Claudia Villela

In the opening seconds of Dreamtales (Adventure), the new recording by vocalist Claudia Villela and pianist Kenny Werner, she's heard saying, "Let's go for it." The two had no set songs and no previously agreed-upon structure or strategy; they just started...

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About Martin Johnson